Jo meets the Burnett family: Dad Michael, who is a work-at-home dad and Joanne, a teacher. They have three-year old twins, John and Joseph; and 16-month old twins, Michael and Molly. Michael also has an eight-year-old son, Zachary from a previous marriage.
Jo arrives at the Burnett home at 10am. According to Michael this is the regular time for them to eat breakfast. Michael loses track of his 16-month old son while on the phone. Jo finds the toddler crawling up the stairs. Michael soon ends up chasing all of the kids. Joseph sobs for Michael to hold him. Michael puts the younger kids down for a three-hour nap and makes the older twins watch TV so he can get some work done.
As soon as Joanne gets home, Michael hands the kids off to their mother and is not seen again until dinner. Joanne fixes them lunch at past 4 since Michael has not fed them yet. The kids are now extremely active. One of the twins gets his shirt dirty, so Joanne goes and changes all three of them in order to have them all wear the same outfit. During playtime, when Joseph pulls out the plug on the keyboard, Joanne attempts to put him on the Naughty Step, but gives up. Joanne also makes dinner, cleans the kitchen, feeds the kids, bathes them, gives them storytime and tucks them all into bed (while Michael continues to work in his office or wander around talking business on his phone). After the kids are tucked in, Joanne then does all housework while Michael sits in his office. By the time Jo leaves the house, it is past 9 p.m. and Joanne is just getting ready to vacuum the floors.
Jo asks why they never hired any help. Joanne asks that she feels like she and her husband are the only people who get to take care of their kids. She says that next to herself, Michael is the best choice to take care of their children. Jo points out that the way Michael cares for the kids is just convenient to him, such as the long naps and watching TV. Michael admits that his favorite part of the day is naptime. He loves it when they're all asleep because it allows him to actually get work done.
Jo feels like the older twins should be able to dress themselves. Jo asks why Michael doesn't do more of an equal share of the work in the house since they both work. Joanne says she doesn't feel like she can ask Michael to do that when he already spends all day taking care of the kids. Michael says Joanne does the traditional work that women do (housework), while he does the traditional work that men do (provide for family), which disgusts Jo.
TeachingJo brings in her usual routine, which Michael does not seem to be very pleased with. It includes getting the kids up at 8 am. and eating breakfast from 8:30 to 9 am. Jo introduces the Off-The-Hip technique for Joseph, the clingiest child in the family. Joseph eventually calms down, but has yet another tantrum when it is time to eat dinner. The tantrum lands him on the Naughty Chair. Once back at the table, Joseph eats his dinner. The next day, Jo arrives at 8.30 am. to find the kids up and eating breakfast. Michael puts plates in the dishwasher for the first time. Jo introduces the Big Boy technique to help the boys dress themselves. At playtime, Jo introduces the Managed Play technique.
Later that day, Michael takes the twins outside the play. Joanne comes home during outdoor playtime. Instead of simply switching off as they had previously done, the family actually spends time together.
Family Test Run and DVD Meeting
During the Family Test Run, the parents do well with the Big Boy and Off-The Hip techniques, but Michael lapses back into waking the kids too late. The kids constantly eat. Joanne introduces a game for the boys to take turns. When John refuses the take turns, Joanne takes the game from both boys. Joanne struggles with implementing the Naughty Chair properly.
After watching the DVD, reinforcement begins. Jo addressed the fact that Joanne always dresses the boys the same. Jo wants Joanne to see the boys at individuals, not just as "the twins." Michael now thinks that the routine is wonderful for his kids, but not so much for his work. Jo suggests that Michael talk to Joanne about help. Michael suggest that they bring in someone who helps with little things such as lunch. Joanne agrees to try it. Joanne goes over Managed Play again. Michael, the twins and his older son, Zachary (who appeared out of nowhere) play pretend that they are in outer space in a Buzz Lightyear tent. Afterwards, Jo leaves for good.
- When Jo is observing the Burnett family the movie that John and Joseph are watching that afternoon is the popular 1937 Disney movie "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".
- Molly is holding a toy Dave the Barbarian sword from McDonalds.
- Michael Burnett Sr.
- Joanne Burnett
- Zachary, 8
- John and Joseph, 3
- Michael Jr. and Molly, 16 months
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